In a burgeoning class of hatchback cars masquerading as small SUVs, the Mazda CX-3 is … a hatchback. It’s a sharp-looking one with a quality interior and high gas mileage, but apart from its optional all-wheel drive, the only thing distinguishing it from Mazda’s own Mazda3 compact hatchback is interior space — of which it has less. Oh, and also its price, which is higher. (See our earlier post on trim levels and pricing.)
Related: 2016 Mazda CX-3: First Look
Having established that, I predict the CX-3, which goes on sale this fall, will excel in the market and demonstrate definitively why automakers are producing these subcompact SUVs and successfully selling them for more money. Americans prefer SUVs to hatchback cars and (gasp!) station wagons, practical considerations be damned.
The CX-3 looks great. Its snub-nosed front end recalls the comparably sized Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which has a nice design that the automaker unwisely abandoned for the larger 2016 Outlander. The CX-3 also has the kind of gray trim along its rocker panels and wheel arches seen on other direct competitors, such as the Subaru XV Crosstrek, as well as the upscale Audi Allroad – both current market stars.